World Cup, the Russian currency slows down Seychellois tourism; Germany, France, Italy are bright spots
161,800 visitors have landed in Seychelles from January to date, which represents an increase of 2% for the same period in 2017 (Air Seychelles)
(Seychelles News Agency) – The World Cup and the decline in the value of the Russian currency are negatively affecting the number of tourist arrivals in Seychelles, according to a tourism official, although Germany, France and Italy send more visitors to the island nation this year. than in 2017.
The archipelago of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean saw only a 2% increase in numbers in the first half of the year, which the director general of the Seychelles Tourist Office (STB) Sherin Francis said it was slightly lower than the STB forecast.
The Russian market saw an 18% decline in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year. François said that the Fifa World Cup and the value of the ruble – the currency of Russia – “is not favorable to a rapid recovery of this market”.
“Four years ago we only had one percent increase and this year we see ourselves in a similar situation. Russians travel to Russia to watch the matches as the event unfolds in their country. We are also seeing other potential visitors from Europe as well as other markets coming to Russia to support their teams, ”said Francis.
|The CEO of STB said Seychelles is doing well for the first half of the year. (Vanessa Lucas) Photo license: CC-BY|
Francis said that although the increase was lower than expected, “Seychelles has done well for this first half of the year”.
Germany, France, UK and Ireland are Seychelles’ three main tourist markets from January to June, contributing significantly to the total number of visitor arrivals. Russia, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, however, are lagging behind for the same period compared to a year ago.
The figures of the National Bureau of Statistics show that more than 161,800 visitors have landed in Seychelles from January to date. This represents an increase of 2% for the same period in 2017. Germany is the largest market with 23,372 visitors, an increase of 8% compared to last year.
“This was complemented by the rebound of France and Italy, both growing three and six percent respectively,” said Francis.
During his speech, Tourism Minister Didier Dogley said the tourism industry remains “the bread and butter” of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
Dogley added that tourism contributed “to over 27% of our GDP (gross domestic product) or $ 400 million in tourism revenue for the year 2017. This is almost the equivalent of 90% of our budget. national for 2017 ”.
The mid-year marketing meeting also allowed representatives of different local destination management companies, tour operators, hotel establishments, among others, from the tourism industry to meet with the directors of different markets and their team. .
|The meeting gives all partners the chance to meet other people working in the industry. (Vanessa Lucas) Photo license: CC-BY|
“It is always interesting to meet people working in STB offices abroad. We can discuss with them, and today it was stressed that we need to develop our markets for small hotels and rentals because there is a demand for it ”, said Sybille Cardon, president of the Seychellois Hotel and Tourism Association (SHTA).
Cardon added that SHTA wants to attend road shows organized abroad to represent small establishments, because too often foreigners think that Seychelles is only a five-star destination.
“This is not the case and it is important to show it. Small establishments must also realize that they must also participate by providing us with the necessary equipment such as brochures and photos, ”she said.
Speaking for the next six months, the director general of the tourist board said that with her staff, “we will be able to maintain this performance and maybe increase to four to five percent”.
“The reason for what I am saying is supported by the information I am receiving from forward bookings, which shows for example that we can bounce back in the UAE market,” Francis said.
The next marketing meeting will be in December and the board will be planning for next year.